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The convicted murderer who made headlines for his big escape from an upstate New York prison with a fellow inmate was also, apparently, a noted prison artist.
Richard Matt was shot dead last week after he and fellow killer David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora and eluded authorities for three weeks. Matt was serving 25 years for the kidnapping and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss.
According to court documents, Matt gave some of his artworks to prison guard Gene Palmer in return for tools. Palmer was arrested, allegedly telling investigators he gave the convicts art supplies and access to a catwalk electrical box in exchange for paintings by Matt. Palmer insists that he had no idea about the killer's escape plan.
The July 4 weekend could be one of the deadliest holidays in years for drivers. As many as 409 Americans will be killed on the road during the long Independence Day weekend, with another 49,500 injured, forecasts the National Safety Council. If the safety group's prediction proves accurate, that would be the highest tally for a Fourth of July holiday since 2008. There are several factors behind the grim estimate: this year the Fourth falls on a Saturday and weekend holidays tend to have higher levels of traffic, more partying and, in general, a larger number of crashes. Click through for tips from The National Safety Council on ways motorists can avoid becoming part of the holiday statistics.
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A predominately black church in South Carolina once torched by the Ku Klux Klan caught fire Tuesday night, though authorities said it was too soon to say what caused the latest blaze, which broke out on a night of frequent storms. No one was believed to be inside at the time.
Multiple jurisdictions were responding to the "heavy" fire at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal in Greeleyville, South Carolina, a rural county about 70 miles northwest of Charleston. The same church was burned down by two members of the Ku Klux Klan in 1995.
An Instagram selfie showing a tourist posing atop the Brooklyn Bridge has renewed concerns about bridge security in New York City as the July 4th holiday approaches.
David Karnauch took the photo after he climbed the bridge on impulse, he said. He was never questioned or stopped.
"You could just get on a beam and it actually had handrails on the left and right side, and I just walked across the bridge and turned around to take a picture," he told NBC 4 New York over Skype from his home in Chattanooga, Tennesse.
"I don't recommend anybody else do it. It's not a smart thing to do because I know they take security on the bridges seriously," he said.
Hundreds of activists plan to set fire to the American flag at a Brooklyn park Wednesday, claiming the flag is a symbol of oppression. A group called Disarm NYPD will lead the protest at Fort Greene Park at 7:30 p.m. The group says it will also burn the Confederate flag in a rally against the country’s long history of systemic racism after nine people were killed in a historic South Carolina church earlier this month. But the group’s plan to burn the American flag has sparked controversy among lawmakers and residents. “It’s wrong,” state senator Marty Golden said. “It’s a wrong message to send to our children, wrong message to send to our communities. Just plain wrong.”
Stock markets across Europe sharply surged on Wednesday over hopes that a deal between Greece and its creditors can be put together in time to avoid a bad Greek exit from the Euro. At around 7 a.m. ET, the CAC-40 in France was up 2.5 percent at 4,908 while Germany's DAX rose 2.1 percent to 11,171. The FTSE 100 index of leading European shares was also 1.4 percent higher at 6,613. Greece's failure to repay its loan to the International Monetary Fund — which comes after Greece failed to extend the bailout program it has relied on for five years — forces the country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund.
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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has earned nearly $28 million since leaving the Florida governor's mansion and paid an effective federal income tax rate of roughly 36 percent in the past three decades, according to tax returns released by his campaign on Tuesday.
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The White House says visitors can now take photos or use social media during public tours of the building.
As fallout built over Donald Trump's remarks about immigrants from Mexico, the Republican presidential candidate answered back with legal action to match his trademark brashness, filing a $500 million lawsuit. The suit against Univision for dropping the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants claims breach of contract, defamation and First Amendment violations, and contends Univision turned on him because it supports Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. In a statement, Univision called Trump's lawsuit "factually false and legally ridiculous."
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The United States and Cuba will officially re-establish diplomatic relations Wednesday morning, as leaders announce a deal to open foreign embassies in each country's capitals, sources told NBC News and the State Department confirmed. "We will formally announce tomorrow that the United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other's capitals, a senior administration official said. "We expect President Obama and Secretary Kerry to address this publicly tomorrow morning." The Cuban Foreign Ministry was also expected to hold a news conference Wednesday morning. It wasn't immediately clear when the embassies in Havana and Washington would open.
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A general contractor who was in charge of constructing a balcony that collapsed in California and killed six people sought a court order Tuesday to be present when investigators examine the wreckage. Segue Construction asked for the order several days after a prosecutor announced a criminal investigation was underway in the collapse that injured seven other people in Berkeley. A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie told NBC's Matt Lauer his temper on the campaign trail shows a "controlled anger" that demonstrates his passion about important issues. "It is an absolute controlled anger. A controlled anger," he told Lauer in an exclusive interview on the day of his presidential announcement. "I'm angry about the fact that taxpayers were being ripped off in New Jersey. I'm angry about the fact that our urban kids can't get a good education. I'm angry about those things, you're darn right I am. And I think America wants someone who's willing to fight for that." Christie has gotten many questions about his temperament and the New Jersey Republican said his anger remains controlled "almost all the time" and that he's lost his temper "very few times" during his governorship.
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Actor Jim Carrey turned to Twitter to air his frustrations over California's strict new vaccination law on Tuesday, calling Gov. Jerry Brown a "corporate fascist".